ritu agarwal

Ritu Agarwal, PhD

Wm. Polk Carey Distinguished Professor
Academic AreaInformation Systems
Academic AreaHealth

Ritu Agarwal is the Wm. Polk Carey Distinguished Professor of Information Systems and Health at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.  She is also the founding co-director of the Center for Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence (CDHAI) Dr. Agarwal is an expert in the strategic use of information technology, digital transformation of healthcare, health analytics, and artificial intelligence applications in health.  Prior to joining the Carey School, she was a Distinguished University Professor and the Robert H. Smith Dean’s Chair of Information Systems at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.  She was also the Founding Director of the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the Smith School.

As a scholar working at the intersection of social science, data science and technology, Dr. Agarwal’s research seeks to apply advanced digital technologies to healthcare practice and delivery, and to unravel the underlying behavioral, psychological, and social processes that enable and constrain successful healthcare interventions.  She has been a pioneer in research related to digital technologies and health among scholars in leading business schools, and has devoted her research efforts towards improving healthcare quality, promoting equity and access, and reducing costs.  She has published over 100 articles in leading business and healthcare journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, and Health Affairs.

Dr. Agarwal has testified before the National Committee on Health and Vital Statistics and the US Department of Health on her research related to digital technologies and health.  She is an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Council for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the NIH and has served on the NIH Working Group for Integration of Behavioral and Social Science Research.  Her research has been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Healthcare Management, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, US Department of Labor, US Department of Justice, NSF, and a number of private corporations.  Dr. Agarwal’s research has been featured in major media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, National Public Radio, and elsewhere. Her research is also highly cited, with over 46,000 citations on Google Scholar.

In 2010 Professor Agarwal launched the Annual Conference on Health Information Technology and Analytics (CHITA).  This conference, now in its 12th year, is a leading research forum at the intersection of technology, analytics, and health and is supported by AHRQ.  Through CHITA, Professor Agarwal has facilitated the development of a vibrant multidisciplinary community, attracting researchers, practitioners, and policy makers across diverse fields including business, economics, public health and medicine.  In her work with CHIDS Professor Agarwal has raised over $10 million in funding through grants, contracts, and gifts.

From 2010-2016 Professor Agarwal served a 6-year term as the Editor-in-Chief of Information Systems Research, one of the top two journals in her discipline.  She has held elected office in the leading professional organizations, including serving on the board for the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Vice President in the Association for Information Systems (AIS), and a two-term President of the Information Systems Society at INFORMS.  She was the NSF ADVANCE Professor for 2012-2013 for the Smith School.

Professor Agarwal has received numerous recognitions for her research and scholarly contributions.  In 2011 she became a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems, and also received the University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award.  In 2013 she received the title of Distinguished Fellow from the Information Systems Society of INFORMS.  In 2017 she was appointed as Distinguished University Professor; the highest academic title at the University of Maryland.  In 2019 she received the LEO Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Association for Information Systems.  In 2021 she was awarded the President’s Medal at the University of Maryland, the highest honor given to a member of the University community.  In 2021 she was elected Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) for outstanding lifetime achievement and exceptional accomplishments in operations research and the management sciences.

Dr. Agarwal’s has served on a number of senior leadership search committees at the University of Maryland.  These include two terms on the Chancellor’s University President Search Committee, two terms on the Smith School of Business Dean Search Committee, Chair of the President’s Search Committee for the Chief Financial Officer of the University of Maryland, member of the President’s Search Committee for the Provost at the University of Maryland, and member of the President’s Search Committee for the VP of University Relations who oversees all development and foundation activities at UMD.

Professor Agarwal has taught across academic programs at all levels: PhD, MS, Executive MBA, MBA, and undergraduate.  Her teaching portfolio covers a variety of areas including information systems, database management, decision support systems, digital transformation, artificial intelligence applications, electronic commerce, and systems analysis and design.  She has supervised many graduate students placed at academic institutions including University of Rochester, McGill University, RPI, Notre Dame, and Indiana University.  Professor Agarwal has won several awards for exceptional teaching, including the Smith School’s highest honor in the form of the Krowe Award twice.

Over her career Dr. Agarwal has held a variety of administrative leadership roles, including Interim Dean, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research, and Department Chair for the Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.  She has a PhD in Information Systems from the Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, an M.S. in Computer Science from the L.C. Smith School of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a B.A. (Honors) in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.


  • PhD, Information Systems, Syracuse University
  • MS, Computer Science, Syracuse University
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
  • BA (Hons.) Mathematics, St. Stephen's College, Delhi University


Selected publications

  • W. Wang, J. Luo, J., M. Dugas, G. Gao, R. Agarwal, R. Werner, R. “Recency in Online Physician Ratings”, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2022;182(8):881-883.
  • C.W. Liu, G. Gao, and R. Agarwal, “Reciprocity or Self-Interest? Leveraging Digital Social Connections for Healthy Behavior,” MIS Quarterly, 46(1), 2022, 261-298.
  • R. Agarwal, M. Dugas, J. Ramaprasad, J. Luo, G. Li, G. Gao, “Socioeconomic privilege and political ideology are associated with racial disparity in COVID-19 vaccination, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2021, DOI: 10.1073/pnas2107873118.
  • A.D. Shukla, G. Gao, and R. Agarwal, “How Digital Word-of-Mouth Affects Consumer Decision Making: Evidence from Doctor Appointment Booking,” Management Science, 67(3), 1546-1568, 2021.
  • R. Agarwal, M. Dugas, G. Gao, and P.K. Kannan, “Emerging Technologies and Analytics for a New Era of Value-Centered Marketing in Healthcare,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 48, No. 1., 2020.
  • C.W. Liu, G. Gao, and R. Agarwal, "Unraveling the “Social” in Social Norms: The Conditioning Effect of User Connectivity. Information Systems Research 30.4, 2019. 1272-1295.
  • R. Agarwal, C.W. Liu, and K. Prasad, “Personal Research, Second Opinions, and the Diagnostic Effort of Experts, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 158, February 2019, 44-61.
  • M. Bjarnadottir, D. Anderson, K. Prasad, R. Agarwal, A.N. Nelson, “The Value of Shorter Initial Opioid Prescriptions: A Simulation Analysis, Pharmacoeconomics, 2019 Oct 21, 10.1007/s40273-019-00847-9

Working papers

  • R. Agarwal, M. Dugas, and G. Gao, "Augmenting Doctors with AI: Addressing Grand Challenges and Transforming Healthcare.



  • Information Systems

Honors and distinctions

  • Appointed Member, National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, National Institutes of Health, 2019-2022.
  • President’s Medal, University of Maryland, 2021.
  • Fellow, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), 2021.
  • Included among top 2% of scientists worldwide across 27 different fields (PLoS Biol 2020).
  • LEO Award for Lifetime Achievement, Association for Information Systems, 2019.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, 2018.
  • Best Paper Award, MIS Quarterly, 2016 (selected from all papers published in the journal in 2015).
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Editor-in-Chief, Information Systems Research, 2011-2016.
  • Distinguished Fellow, Information Systems Society, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), 2013.
  • Schoeller Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Theo and Friedl Schoeller Research Center for Business and Society, Nuremberg, Germany, 2013
  • University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, Krowe Teaching Award for Excellence, 2013.
  • University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business NSF ADVANCE Professor, 2012-13.
  • Fellow, Association of Information Systems, 2011.
  • University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, 2011-2012.